Opposition parties in Rajya Sabha slam government over handling of COVID-19

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Samajwadi Party MP Ram Gopal Yadav (Photo/ANI)
Samajwadi Party MP Ram Gopal Yadav (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], July 20 (ANI): Opposition MPs on Tuesday slammed the government on its management of the COVID-19 situation, especially during the second wave of pandemic and alleged that it did not prepare for escalation in cases.

Taking part in a short-duration debate in the Rajya Sabha during a debate on the COVID-19 situation, some members accused the government of "negligence and inefficiency" in handling the pandemic.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said the government should bring out real data concerning deaths due to COVID-19.

"Our question to the government is why are you hiding the data? Tell us, how many people have lost their lives (due to COVID). Reports say more (deaths) than govt's official figures," he said.

Santanu Sen of Trinamool Congress alleged that differential pricing of vaccines by the Centre earlier had been a mistake.

He also slammed the decision for eight-phased assembly poll in Bengal. "Tamil Nadu had polls for 234 assembly seats in a day. West Bengal with 294 assembly seats had polls in eight phases. The infection rate was 2.3 per cent before polls but after 8 phases, it rose to 33 per cent. Kudos to our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, it has again come down below 1.8 per cent now," he said.

Samajwadi Party MP Ram Gopal Yadav urged the government to raise health budget.

"Before the Budget, I told Nirmalaji to raise the health Budget. The current health Budget is inadequate. You've added other departments' budget in health," Yadav said.

He said the high cost of COVID treatment in private hospitals had pushed many "below the poverty line".

Amar Patnaik of BJD said 25 per cent allocation to private hospitals "makes no sense for remote places where there are no such facilities".

RJD MP Manoj Jha said, "We need to seek forgiveness of those whose deaths went acknowledged".

CPI MP from Keraka Elamaram Kareem alleged the Centre failed to anticipate the second wave of the pandemic.

DMK MP Tiruchi Siva raised the issue of COVID-19 vaccination.

"Vaccine producing facility in Chennai is lying unutilized due to lack of funds," he said. (ANI)

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